17th Street is a well-established barbecue brand. Having won at Memphis in May three times, the World Barbecue Championship four times, and at the Jack Daniels BBQ contest, owner Mike Mills is a legend. He, and his daughter, Amy, co-wrote the book, Peace, Love, and Barbecue, which was nominated for a James Beard Award.
17th Street operates two very successful barbecue restaurants in Murphysboro and Marion, IL. Truly passionate barbecue aficionados make the pilgrimage from hundreds of miles away to sample some of the best barbecue in the world at these famous, cherished locations.
Having bottled their famous barbecue sauces and seasonings, and marketed them locally and regionally, they found some retail success, but the brand had aspirations to go national, and that’s a different challenge altogether.
There are two main reasons why.
First, and most obvious, is that the barbecue space is VERY crowded. Standing out among a sea of options, even for a legendary name, is a monumental challenge.
Second, barbecue sauce tends to be a very regional market. There is a pervasive belief among retail buyers (and consumers) that the very best sauces come from local and regional players. Launching their product on a national scale neutralizes one of their biggest strengths, while pitting them against other, more well-known regional brands. Turning a regional brand into a legitimate national powerhouse is no small task.
Having worked with 17th Street to increase manufacturing capacity and product consistency, PCS developed a national sales strategy to introduce this barbecue legend to a new, national audience.
Reborn as a national brand, 17th Street has successfully achieved national status. PCS garnered strategic placements in hundreds of retail locations across the country, and as evidenced by a recent Bloomberg News article, 17th Street was named as one of the top 5 barbecue sauces that transcends the regional taste barrier for barbecue.